42 episodes

Versify is part storytelling and part poetry. It begins by sending our team of poets out into neighborhoods and to community events, where we invite people to share a story from their life. The person they are sharing it to — the person listening — is one of our poets. This is where the magic comes in. The poet listens intently and then turns that life story into a poem, on the spot.

Versify Nashville Public Radio

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8, 44 Ratings

Versify is part storytelling and part poetry. It begins by sending our team of poets out into neighborhoods and to community events, where we invite people to share a story from their life. The person they are sharing it to — the person listening — is one of our poets. This is where the magic comes in. The poet listens intently and then turns that life story into a poem, on the spot.

    Freedom Summer: The Freedom Rides, A Letter, Then Silence

    Freedom Summer: The Freedom Rides, A Letter, Then Silence

    During the Nashville Student Movement, silence was used as a tool to illuminate the strength of a movement, but in the decades following the sit-ins, stand-ins, and Freedom Rides, silence was used as a method of obscuring it. Etta Marie Simpson Ray is a Freedom Rider and one of the pioneers of the Nashville Student Movement. Etta speaks with poet Kelley Bell about the experience of living in the echo of a movement when your contributions have all but been erased, finding the courage to risk personal gain for the collective good, and the critical importance of carrying the old days with us. Then Kelley shapes the circuit of Etta's Freedom Rider journey, into poetry.   

    Versify is a production of Nashville Public Radio and The Porch — Nashville’s nonprofit literary center.  Editing for this episode came from WPLN’s Mack Linebaugh with additional editing by Anita Bugg. The episode was written, hosted, produced, and recorded by Joshua Moore.  

     The music is by Blue Dot Session  

    The show is distributed by P-R-X.  

    • 44 min
    Season 4 Trailer

    Season 4 Trailer

    In season 4 of Versify, we bring you the stories of a remarkable band of historical luminaries, connected by their courageous commitment to racial equality in the 1960s: the Nashville Freedom riders. We hear of their experiences, in their own words, and our poets turn their narratives into poetry.

    • 2 min
    Our Babies Have Always Been The War

    Our Babies Have Always Been The War

    It's not an exaggeration to say that Rhiannon Giddens is a narrative archeologist. A historical thaumaturge who conjures the often willfully forgotten chronicles of American history and renders them with a rosined bow. For Rhiannon that process of narrative excavation has led to some of her most spellbinding work. Rhiannon speaks with podcaster Colleen Phelps, of WPLN's Classically Speaking, about the process of disinterring narratives from the annals of American history, how her collaboration with the Nashville Ballet led her to composing out of poetry, and how motherhood has deepened her relationship to her subject matter while furthering her commitment to her art. Then poet Destiny Birdsong takes the major chords of Rhiannon's artistic journey and turns them into poetry.

    Versify is a production of Nashville Public Radio and The Porch — Nashville's nonprofit literary center.  Editing for this episode came from WPLN's Mack Linebaugh with additional editing by Anita Bugg. The episode was written, hosted, and produced by Joshua Moore. Today's story was recorded by Carl Pederson at WPLN for Live in Studio C in January of 2019 and the poem was recorder by Joshua Moore at The Nashville Ballet.

    The music is by Rhiannon Giddens & Francesco Turrisi. The show is distributed by PRX

    • 25 min
    Imagine This Chutzpah

    Imagine This Chutzpah

    For Nashville Choreographer Diane Kimbrough, her route to a career as a professional dancer, was influenced by her family history. A descendant of Ukrainian Jews who fled during the Pogroms of the Russian Empire, for Diane, leaning on resilience in the face of scrutiny, is practically an inherited trait. Today Diane speaks with poet Patricia Alice Albrecht, about the precarity of breaking into the world of professional dance, how a family history of self-reliance helped propel her forward, and how her decades as a professional entertainer have given her the courage to face down intolerance and hatred. Then Patricia braids the parallels of Dianes ancestral and professional histories into poetry.

    • 28 min
    Beyond A Four-Walled Hustle

    Beyond A Four-Walled Hustle

    For artist, influencer and activist, Thaxton Waters, the roots of his artistic practice began with a suspicion of history. An unease about the stories around the community he was born into. And that sense of questioning spurred Thaxton toward a career of unearthing untold histories — through art. Thaxton speaks with Versify host Joshua Moore about the process of interrogating history through art. How the dual legacies of education and art making he inherited from his parents have shaped his practice, and how he persists in his commitment to storytelling, in the midst of a city that seems intent on leaving people like him behind. Then Joshua takes the narrative tiles of Thaxton’s life and shapes them into poetry.



    Versify is a production of Nashville Public Radio and The Porch — Nashville’s nonprofit literary center.  Editing for this episode came from WPLN’s Mack Linebaugh with additional editing by Anita Bugg. The episode was written, hosted and produced by Joshua Moore. Today’s story and poem were recorded by Tasha Lemley at WPLN in March of 2018.

    * The music is by Blue Dot Session. The show is distributed by P-R-X. *

    • 28 min
    Little Boxes All The Same

    Little Boxes All The Same

    Demetria Kalodimos is something of a Nashville institution, anchoring the Channel Four news desk since she first arrived in Music city in 1984. But thirty plus years into her career, Demetria was unprepared to have her decades of dedicated news coverage cut short. Demetria speaks with poet Lagnajita Mukhopadhaya about her enduring commitment to the power of journalistic storytelling, how she coped with closing the book on over three decades as a news reporter, and how revisiting family narratives is helping Demetria to write her next chapter. Then Lagnajita takes the weave of Demetria's personal and professional histories and turns them into poetry.

    *Versify is a production of Nashville Public Radio and The Porch — Nashville’s nonprofit literary center.  *

    Editing for this episode came from WPLN’s Mack Linebaugh with additional editing by Anita Bugg. The episode was written, hosted, and produced by Joshua Moore. Today’s story and poem were recorded by Tasha Lemley at WPLN in March of 2018.

    The music is by Blue Dot Sessions.

    *The show is distributed by P-R-X. *

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
44 Ratings

44 Ratings

larkp ,

Versify

I was so moved by this episode. The music and the story behind it and then the poet’s words tying all the feelings together, absolutely beautiful!

chicNhair ,

Stories matter

Versify’s rich storytelling, strong narration and writing, incredible editing, and connections with in community make Versify one of my favorite podcasts! Thank you!!

Elrob19 ,

I can’t get enough of these poets

This podcast is so moving! Versify has changed my commute forever.. hearing people’s stories next to poems about them is such a unique concept that has given me a new appreciation for poetry.

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